Salmon, Humans, and Wildlife

Pacific salmon are fantastic (and tasty) animals. They are born in freshwater, migrate to sea, and return to their natal stream where they spawn and die. They provide an enormous pulse of marine derived nutrients to terrestrial systems. Predators, and particularly bears, rely heavily on salmon. Humans also rely on salmon for livelihoods and food. My research evaluates salmon management goals and their impact on wildlife by quantifying the level of competition between salmon fisheries and wildlife users of salmon. Fishery certifiers such as the Marine Stewardship Council state that fisheries must have acceptable impacts on the ecosystem, but quantitative methods to determine whether these goals are being met are still lacking. I am working to develop these goals for Pacific salmon fisheries.

In addition to quantitative research, our fieldwork near Haines, Alaska quantifies the importance of salmon carcasses to terrestrial wildlife, and the ecosystem effects of abundant salmon-supported bears. (Original artwork by Yiwei Wang)

Relevant Publications

Levi. T.Allen, J. M., Bell, D., Joyce, J. Russel, J. R., Tallmon, D. A., Vulstek, S. C., Yahan, Y., Yu, D. W. 2019Environmental DNA for the enumeration and management of Pacific salmon. Molecular Ecology Resources

Shakeri, Y., White, K.W., Levi, T. 2018Seed dispersal and resource subsidies from salmon-supported bears to granivores. Ecosphere

Harrer, L.E.F.Levi, T. 2018The primacy of bears as seed dispersers in salmon-bearing ecosystems. Ecosphere

Adams, M.S., Service, C., Bateman, A., Bourbonnais, M., Artelle, K., Nelson, T., Paquet, P., Levi, T., Darimont, C.T. 2017. Intrapopulation isotopic niche diversity over landscapes; spatial patterns inform conservation of bear-salmon systems. Ecosphere

Wheat, R.E., Lewis, S.B., Wang, Y., Levi, T., Wilmers, C.C. 2017Intraspecific variation in movement strategies among bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in an anadromous fish system.Movement Ecology

Wheat, R.E., Allen, J.M., Miller, S.D.L, Wilmers, C.C., Levi, T. 2016Environmental DNA from residual saliva for efficient noninvasive genetic monitoring of brown bears (Ursus arctos). PLoS ONE

Levi, T., Wheat, R., Allen, J.M., Wilmers, C.C. 2015. Differential use of salmon by vertebrate consumers: implications for conservation. PeerJ. 3:E1157

Levi, T., Darimont, C.T., MacDuffee, M., Mangel, M., Paquet, P., Wilmers, C.C. 2012Using Grizzly bears to assess harvest-ecosystem tradeoffs in salmon fisheriesPLoS Biology. 10(4)